POCKET MONEY ROCKETS: HOT HATCHES FOR UNDER £5K
Don’t need to buy new? Here are a few cracking used hot hatches available for a fraction of the price of our two new contenders
RENAULT CLIO RS 182 TROPHY
The ultimate iteration of the Renault Sport Clio. It feels a little dated inside, but offers a tactility and sweetness that few more modern hot hatches can match. Buy now, and watch it appreciate.
SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT
The archetypal less-is-more hot hatch, the previous-gen Swift Sport now costs buttons to buy and run, yet will provide smiles by the bucketload in all environments. Equipment levels are high, too, and they don’t tend to go wrong.
MINI COOPER S
The second-gen Cooper S is available surprisingly cheaply with a few years under its belt. It’s one of the best hot hatches of its age, with a stiff, delightfully throttle-adjustable chassis and a punchy engine.
The first hot 500 is rough and ready to drive, but immensely characterful – and quick, too. The smart interior contrasts with the dour grey plastics you to find in most modern cars. Few hot hatches have such an overt sense of fun.
VAUXHALL CORSA VXR
The Corsa VXR still has a whiff of boy racer special about it, and it isn’t the most polished hot hatch you’ll find for this sort of cash. It is, however, fast and lairy, both to look at and to drive – and it’s also getting very cheap to buy.